Perfect Few Days

So let me just say, if you aren’t into blogs from people telling you what a wonderful time they have had, then I would deffo skip this blog. BUT.. if not strap yourself in!!

This post is entitled “Perfect Few Days” as this is exactly what M and I have just had. Firstly, it was his birthday on Thursday and yes, if your maths is any good, then you will have worked out that he does indeed have a Star Wars Birthday, as in “May the 4th be with you!” Which was reflected in some of his birthday wrapping..


But first things first, as the FIRST thing we did for his birthday is presents in bed. This is something that we have done since almost day 1 and it’s a tradition I particularly love. After pressies, we ventured to ChouxChouxbedo for breakfast and I think it’s fair to see M was very happy with the situation!

After breakfast we had originally planned to go to Pennington Flash for a walk and then to Bents, but in the end we sacked off the walk and just ventured to Bents for a bit of (expensive) food shopping and present buying for M’s mum, whose birthday it actually is TODAY!

Once home we were chilling out when we had a surprise visit from our brother-in-law and our lovely nieces. They stayed for a while and the girls and I made chocolate covered strawberries and I put the Scouse on to cook. I have a whole recipe for Scouse, which is basically lamb stew, but that’s another post I still have to write. ?

Once the girls had gone, we got ready and Michael’s family came, namely his mum & dad, 2 sisters and their partners. We ate the scouse and a birthday cake made by m’s amazing mum. M is very lucky to have such a lovely family.

Then on Saturday, we had a mini lie-in and then set off for Keswick in the Lake District, where we were booked in to the Best Western Castle Plus Inn. It took us about 2 hours to get there and we have to say we were pleasantly surprised on arrival.

Friendly welcome, lovely staff, nice hotel, good start. Full disclosure, our room was a little small as it was crammed with too much furniture which meant we didn’t have too much room to manoeuvre. However, we didn’t stay too long initially as I had booked afternoon tea for M and I at Armathwaite Hall. AH is where M and I stayed on Honeymoon and we hadn’t been back, so we were REALLY excited to see if it had changed at all.

On arrival the staff showed us to our reserved table in the window, overlooking the lake ? . As I have blogged before, I am lactose intolerant and I even though I mentioned it when I booked, I was  little worried about what food might arrive. I needn’t have been, see pics below.

It was all GORGEOUS and I know some of you might think that plain ham sandwiches are boring, but honestly the ham was divine and who doesn’t love ham butties?!

After our feast, we decided to go for a walk in the grounds of the hall, which overlooks Bassenthwaite Lake. We actually got married in February, so on our last trip, we tried to get down to the lake, but were foiled half way as it was too muddy and wet. But this time, it was sunny and we wended our way down the path, across the bridge and eventually the foliage cleared and the lake was resplendent in front of us. Wow.

Heaven is a Place on Earth

We stayed at the lakeside for a little while, talking and throwing stones in the water, the sun was shining on us and I really felt like I wanted to capture that moment and keep it forever. I felt so lucky, almost emotional and if ever I feel stressed and want to think of a happy place, that hour will play on a loop. ?

Once back at the hotel we chilled out for a while (M fell FAST asleep) and then in the evening, we kept it low key and just went down to the bar for a lovely meal of chicken fajita (me) and corned beef hash cakes with poached egg (him).

For day 2 of our mini-break we decided to go to Whinlatter Forest, which was about 10ish miles away from our hotel here:

Parking was easy as there is a visitors centre, loos and cafe along with a decent sized car park. After a slightly dodgy start (we didn’t see the wayfinding signs) we decided to do the aptly named Two Gills trail, which is described as “moderate”. I supposed it depends on fitness levels and your preconceived idea of moderate, but I found parts of this walk quite challenging as there was quite a lot of uphill walking.

Massive elevation gain!

So even though for the uphills I had a face like thunder whilst I was puffing and blowing, I did really enjoy being in the outdoors and the views of the forest at the top were stunning. We will be back.

So overall we really have had a perfect few days and so glad I got to share it with you. This type of post is one of the reasons that I got into blogging, because it holds my memories tight. Thanks for reading too if you got this far. ???

G x

p.s. all photos in this posts are taken with either an iPhone 7 or iPhone7+ (I left my Canon G7x at home this trip)

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2 years gone

Today marks 2 years since my Mum died. My lovely mum. Margaret. She was taken from us, aged 68 after a horrific year-long battle with cancer. I more or less took up blogging again when she was ill, some of which you can read here: >>2015<<

The last 3 years (1 year hellish treatment & 2 years grieving) have been very hard, but thankfully time has done its thing and after some grief counselling at the end of 2016, I do feel much more able to deal with her death and life with no mum. It’s not easy and I do feel as though her death changed me forever, but I can handle it now, well about 90%.

But mostly I am going to take today to think about mum, cry if I need to and just remember the happy times that we had. I definitely won’t remember the times she used to come around my house and point out dishes I hadn’t done, or windows I hadn’t cleaned. But of course I inevitably I will. Either way though, even though today is the anniversary of her death, I will remember her life and the many wonderful bingo games she played, rugby matches she watched and the way she loved my nieces. Gone far too soon.

Cancer is an utter bastard and I hope beyond hope that we find a cure soon.

G x

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Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you are having a lovely relaxing day! Today we had plans to go out to Haigh Woodland Park, but unluckily we were thwarted by the weather. So much rain! But we aren’t too downcast, we might go tomorrow if it clears up.

Instead, I had a nourishing long lie in M is currently watching Liverpool play West Brom.. could be worse.  This evening we have had no less than two invitations to go out for tea, but as we can only be in one place at once, we are going up to Widnes to spend time with M’s family. ?

This might be the first ever time I won’t have an Easter Egg, but again, this doesn’t bother me too much, as I have eaten my fair share of eggs over the years. If anything Easter just means a “free” break from work and 4 days with M, which is the best thing ever.

So Happy Easter to anyone who passes by my blog, hope you are having a fab time.

Love

G x

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Gift ideas for Mother’s Day

I work in an office with a few young dad’s and after listening to their conversations last week it seems that a few of them had been caught out on their first Mother’s Day. What I mean exactly, is that the first Mother’s Day they encountered after their very first baby was born  –  was a near total disaster!

It turns out that both my colleagues either forgot it was Mother’s Day or it never occurred to them that they would have to get a present for their partner! Oh how wrong they were.

One of my colleagues has particularly learned his lesson from the first year as he was canvassing our office for ideas and getting his preparation in early. Good man – 10 points to him. So I started to think – I am pretty good at ideas for presents and so I thought I would share 5 that I came up with:

Afternoon Tea

I really don’t think you can go wrong with a lovely afternoon tea! There are so many places that offer afternoon tea these days that they aren’t limited to country house hotels. In fact our lovely local cafe ChouxChouxbedo offers a lovely one as well as Bents Garden and Home. They usually cost somewhere between £15-£30 per person and they are a real indulgence a fab way to spend an afternoon.

Afternoon Tea at The Grosvenor in Chester. (for M’s birthday)

Spa Day

So, I have to be honest and say that I bloody LOVE a Spa day. You can find them a dedicated Spa retreat or within a Spa Hotel. These are a little more expensive as they include a treatment of some sort (usually something like a facial or massage) but they can include a jacuzzi AND a swim AND a fluffy bath robe AND even a champagne lunch!  A spa day can cost anything from £40-£100 per person.

A Lie in

So don’t underestimate this one. Most new mums, or let’s face it, mum’s of any kind have LONG forgotten what a lie in it. So why not give them one? Get up early and take the baby/child/dog/toys etc etc out and about and let the mum in your house have a long, luxurious lie in. Even if she wakes up early, she can just stay in bed with her book, brew and whatever she likes really and not have to do anything. I think some mum’s would argue, that this is what they crave more than anything.

A Hobby Gift

So this one is a little harder to be specific about as there are SO many possibilities! However, some mum’s have told me that they LOVE being a mum, but sometimes it’s easy to forget who THEY are besides being a mum. Most people have a hobby or something that they are interested in, even if their main interest is a good old box set. But I am sure there is something that you could get the mum in your life that would be just for her. Just for her hobby. And if her hobby is a good box set, buy her one, get her an iTunes voucher, If she has always wanted to learn the guitar, buy her a lesson.

Although a slight word of warning, my dad once bought my mum 3 dusters in a pack as they were only a £1. Cleaning is not a hobby and my mum threw them right back at him.

Jewellery

I know, I know, this is a cliché beyond belief, but it’s a cliché for a reason. I think for Mother’s Day a piece of delicate jewellery can be a beautiful way to cherish a mum. Don’t get me wrong, I have NEVER been a fan of the “mum” rings, but a lovely pair of earrings or a locket can really be beautiful.

It’s a NO from me.

 So that’s my 5 idea for Mother’s Day presents… would love to hear if you have anything amazing that you have either received or given.

G x

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Coughing Olympics

Oh dear, we’ve not had a great few weeks in the Lysons household, both M and I have been poorly and my poor darling husband is really struggling at the moment. He’s been poorly since mid January and this morning sees him going off to the docs to make sure he hasn’t got a chest infection or similar.

It was our Wedding Anniversary on Saturday and normally we would spend the day together and do something nice, but we couldn’t this year. We did go to Bents, for brunch, but with the coughing and things it wasn’t quite the same. I have to admit that I was a bit fed up on Saturday as we have just both been poorly for a few weeks now and it’s just rotten.

BUT, I feel a bit more positive today as I think I am 95% better, we just need M to improve now so that we can get on with things. Although I can hear him coughing and I know the lack of sleep and tickly inconvenience is getting to him too.

But, at least we didn’t win an Oscar last night, which was initially given to someone else!!!!

Happy Monday everyone… clean slate today – anything is possible.

G x

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>>I’m doing Race for Life<<

*drum roll*

So…… I have decided that this year I am going to do a Race for Life. If you didn’t already know, this is a fundraising event for Cancer Research UK. It’s actually a 5k run/walk event that has grown in popularity over the last 10 years and they are now help over the Spring/Summer all around the UK.

The main reason that I want to do this is to raise some money for CRUK. My mum died in 2015 from Esophageal Cancer almost a year to the date after she was diagnosed.  What she went through was hard, no actually it was harrowing – both for her to slowly disintegrate as a person and for us as a family to watch it happen. I hate the thought of this happening to other people, so I just hope this small contribution helps in some way.

Event Details

Haydock Race Life
5k
Saturday 16th July 11:00

I need your help

I am doing this event in the hope it will inspire you to sponsor me. I have given myself a target of £200 and I hope will your help I can smash it. 5k might not seem a lot for you but it’s my nemesis. This will be challenge I hope I can meet and I would really love it if you could sponsor me. Just follow this link and throw a few pounds my way. Even £1 could make a difference.

>>> Click here to SPONSOR ME<<<

Thank you SOOOO much, it really does mean the world to me. And in case you never got to meet her, this is my mum:

Gill xxx

 

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Had a good Christmas?

So finally VLOGMAS is over and we have entered that weird time between Christmas and New Year where no-one know what day it is and everyone feels just a little hung over or generally just knackered in my case. So how was your festive period? Did you cope?

Last Christmas for me wasn’t brilliant, it was the first time without mum and things where somewhat traumatic, but this year, with a little help from a few people, things turned out pretty well.

The turning point for me was deciding to not see my own family on Christmas Day. I know this sounds harsh, but let me explain. As a non-drinkers without children we usually spend Christmas visiting other people at their houses, with the record number of visits one year of 5. So this year we decided to put the following plan into place:

  1. Christmas Eve: My family came to us for the afternoon. I made a pan of Scouse and we played daft games. Our nieces danced all the dances and it looked something like this:
  2. Then on Christmas Day we had Christmas Dinner at Michael’s sister in Grappenhall.
  3. On Boxing Day we spent the afternoon at my sister’s house and then the evening at my mother-in-law’s house.

So it worked out that we spent loads of time with both M and I’s family equally, we didn’t end up running around like mad fools on Christmas Day and M and I both agreed that we had a lovely time. In fact, we took a photo that reminded me that there is still fun to be had within my own little family… we miss mum, but life has indeed carried on.

Hope you had a good one… G x

 

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Trampolining on a Sunday

Today has been a fun day as I went to my niece’s 7th birthday party at a Trampolining Place in Wigan. It’s called VELOCITY and I didn’t really know what to expect, but actually it was SO much fun. As it was my niece’s party, I got to go in Free of Charge and then as a supervising adult, I got a free pair of  “no slip” socks and a go on the trampolines.

Velocity Socks

Velocity Socks

When we arrived both our nieces and their friends were having so much fun bouncing on the many many trampolines. There was SO much stuff to bounce on, bounce over and bounce onto, it was fab. Now most of the people bouncing were under 15 years old with almost no adults, but I thought sod it,  I would regret it if I didn’t have a go and my brother-in-law was already bouncing, so why not!!

So this is happening!

A video posted by Gill Lysons ? (@gilliblogs) on


My lovely husband shot this video and to me it felt like I was going SO high, but as you can see my bounces are pretty sedate compared to the kids all around me, but I really don’t care. I LOVED it!!!!

Now full disclosure, after a little while I did a big bounce and pulled a muscle in my back or something, so I had to retire but it was totes worth it.

As I said, the whole reason for the party in the party in the 1st place was for my niece Tilly’s 7th birthday party. At the start of the year, she was diagnosed diabetic, Type 1, which means she has to have her blood sugar taken multiple times a day and has insulin injections to help her body stay healthy. She is a true warrior though and never complains once. Watching her loving life and bouncing like professional was amazing today… long may it continue:

G x

 

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